3D printing materials research accelerates innovation

Image: Brightlands Chemelot Campus
Image: Brightlands Chemelot Campus

3D printing materials research is important for innovation. Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, Maastricht University, and Chemelot Innovation and Learning Labs (CHILL), all based in The Netherlands, have been awarded a subsidy of one million Euro for a major 3D-printing project.

This project focusses on the development and improvement of polymeric printing materials for high end applications, especially in the medical sector but also for Automotive, Construction, Aviation, and Care. The project involves the entire production chain: suppliers in the field of materials (DSM and Corbion Purac), filaments (API), printers (Ultimaker) and business (Xilloc) are working together on specific and relevant solutions.

3D Printing is an important accelerator for innovation and all over the world you see that awareness of this is rising. In Europe, for example, the European Association of the Machine Tool industries recently organized the Additive Manufacturing European Conference (AMEC) at the European Parliament in Brussels. At AMEC the industry stressed the importance of an ambitious European industrial strategy and Director General of CECIMO Filip Geerts stated that as AM is moving fast as a mainstream technology, adequate government policy plays a vital role in technology development and market uptake.

3D Printing facilitates the emergence of new opportunities, since new applications for niche markets are made possible. At the moment there are limited possibilities with regard to polymeric materials and material development is expensive, especially for small businesses that focus on high end technology. Therefore it is good to see that there is a growing awareness of how important it is to invest in the field of 3D printing materials research.

In the project in The Netherlands, Maastricht University is involved for fundamental knowledge development and Zuyd University of Applied Sciences is involved to bridge the gap with the market. The project will take place in the laboratories of CHILL and Maastricht University, housed on Brightlands Chemelot Campus. On this campus a cluster of institutes and companies is being formed that focusses on 3D-printing.

Do you know of or are involved in a (new) 3D printing materials research project? Please leave a comment below.